Thursday, April 24, 2014

Top Ten Titles on My Spring/Early Summer TBR List

This past winter I fell into somewhat of a reading slump, which is quite unusual for me. I had a hard time finding books that kept me awake (eeek). As soon as I started reading, I would fall asleep on the page...I felt like some of my students. As the weather improves and the weeks pass, I’m finally getting back into the swing of things. To keep me going, I want to make sure that I have a great line up of books ahead of me. These are ten titles I plan to read as the school year winds down and summer begins:

1. The One by Kiera Cass (released May 6th)
2. Of Neptune by Anna Banks (released May 13th)
3. Perfect Lies by Kiersten White  

4. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
5. Killer Instinct by SE Green (released May 6th)
6. Split Second by Kasie West  
7. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi  

8. The Paradox of Vertical Flight by Emil Ostrovski  
9. Enclave by Ann Aguirre
10. Dare You To by Katie McGarry

Any other titles I should add to my summer reading list? I need to start building up my library hold list!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Top 8 Authors New to Me this Year

I’M BACK! It’s been a long hiatus, but I either had to cut back on writing or on reading, and obviously reading wasn’t a viable option. I’ve done a lot of reading the last few months (although not as much as usual) and I’m a bit overwhelmed by the reviews I need to write. Good thing summer will be here before we know it...I hope!

To get back into the swing of things, I’m going to post a few lists. As you’re looking for good summer vacation reads, I hope you find some inspiration here.

This week’s list is Top Eight Authors New to Me; these are authors I’ve discovered in the past year and fallen in love (or obsession) with. I can honestly say, I would read anything by any of these authors and know that I’m going to love it (or at least really like it).

1.Rainbow Rowell- LOVE HER! Eleanor & Park is hands down my favorite book of the year and one of my favorite books of all time. Everyone I’ve recommended it to - parents, students, friends - all agree. Plus, as a person she seems so down-to-earth and real (as if I know her personally). Here are some titles to check out: Eleanor & Park and Fangirl.

2. Andrew Smith - Another author with one of my favorite books of the year: Winger! I haven’t yet visited any of his other works, but if they are anywhere near as good as Winger, then I’m in. He’s funny yet poignant, which is so difficult to do in young adult literature. Titles to read: Winger, Grasshopper Jungle, and The Marbury Lens.

3. Cassandra Clare - I know she isn’t a new author, but last summer she was new to me. As soon as I read the first Infernal Devices book, I was hooked. Her mix of fantasy and darkness with real characters sucked me in (in fact, she’s made me aspire to be a shadowhunter). I’ve worked my way through all of the Infernal Devices series and most of the Mortal Instruments and haven’t regretted a single read. Series starters: City of Bones and Clockwork Angel.

4. Michelle Hodkin - She’s only written one series (and it’s not even complete yet), but that’s all I needed to completely buy in to her as an author. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - it’s fresh and completely different from the YA trends that are out there. Plus, Noah Shaw - need I say more? If you haven’t already, start this series immediately: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer.

5. A.S. King - I am so grateful to have discovered this author last summer. Ever book she writes carries such depth and meaning and yet her stories are told in an engaging way - I still think about Reality Boy, moths after finishing it. My students really connect with her characters and learn from her words. A beautiful, much-needed writer. Titles to read: Reality Boy, Ask the Passengers, Everybody Sees the Ants, and Please Ignore Vera Dietz.

6. Kiersten White - If you’re looking for a fun, fast-paced read, check out anything by this author. I’ve read and enjoyed all of her young adult titles. There’s romance, there’s humor, there’s drama and there’s usually a hint of mythology or paranormalcy - all make for a great story. Books to check out: Mind Games, Paranormalcy, and The Chaos of Stars.

7. Ruta Sepetys - Historical Fiction has never been my go-to genre, but if it’s written by this author, I’m in. The stories she tells transport the reader back to another time, in a period filled with heart-wrenching characters. Whether or not you like historical stories, I recommend both of her titles: Out of the Easy and Between Shades of Gray.

8. Cat Winters - Admittedly this author only has one released title, but I loved it, so she’s making my list. Her writing conveys an eeriness that left me sleepless many nights in a row. Ghost stories are not normally my forte, but the way she tells stories makes them hard to resist. Add to your TBR list:  In the Shadow of Blackbirds.

Any authors new to you this year? I’m always looking for new reads as summer approaches!